Call for countywide support against further government cuts24 January, 2017
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, has urged councillors and MPs to join him in lobbying Government against further reductions to Lancashire police’s funding.
The plea comes as the Commissioner outlined his plans to increase the council tax precept by 1.99% (6p per week average) to help safeguard local police jobs across the county. It also coincides with the release of ONS figures showing that police recorded crime across the county is starting to rise.
Speaking at the meeting of the Police and Crime Panel at County Hall, Preston on Monday, Mr Grunshaw outlined budget pressures facing the force due to continued cuts in Government funding and an impending review of the police funding formula which could push savings to £97m by 2020.
The Commissioner told the panel that despite managing cuts well, Lancashire has experienced a rolling 11% increase in crime between September 2015 and 2016 and continues to experience an increase in non-crime demand due to cuts to social and health services.
He said: “The majority of the people in Lancashire want to see our police officer numbers maintained. We have already seen 850 officers and 450 police staff lost from our force since austerity began.
“And now Lancashire could see money diverted to other police areas as the Government looks to change the way it allocates funding.
“I’m not saying that Police forces shouldn’t be appropriately funded, but what I am saying is that Government really needs to look at what this will do to forces such as Lancashire – we have already lost a third of our budget and a further increase will mean even more change.
“Lancashire is not alone in seeing an increase in crime either, nationally it is starting to rise with forces similar to us in terms of size and make up, seeing an average 14% increase.
“It really is a question of the more you take out, the more likely you are to see crime increase. Lancashire has managed the cuts well and crime fell for four years despite massive reductions, we’re reaching tipping point and our MPs need to join the fight – it’s what their constituents want.”
Mr Grunshaw is writing to all Council Leaders and MPs urging them to lobby Government to put extra funding into policing to ensure police services can be maintained.
You can view the full precept consultation report here.